Int. J. Dev. Biol. In Press
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.210204vk
© UPV/EHU Press

Vascular cell-matrix adhesion in development and cancer

Christina Arapatzi, Georgia Rouni, Vassiliki Kostourou*

Institute of BioInnovation, Biomedical Sciences Research Centre “Alexander Fleming", Vari-Athens, Greece

ABSTRACT The development and homeostasis of vertebrate organisms depend on the “tree of life”, that is the intricate network of vascular tubes composed by endothelial cells attached to the basement membrane and surrounded by perivascular cells. Although many studies have revealed the fundamental role of cytokines, growth factors and Notch signalling in vascular morphogenesis, we still lack sufficient understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling the various steps of the angiogenic processes. Emerging data highlight that cell adhesions are key players in vascular morphogenesis. In this review, we focus on endothelial cells and we present the current state of knowledge regarding the role of cell-matrix adhesions in developmental and tumour angiogenesis, attained mainly from genetic studies and animal models.

Keywords:

endothelial, angiogenesis, adhesion, migration, cancer

*Corresponding author e-mail: Kostourou@fleming.gr